April 27, 2012



Not at all the way the networks wanted May Sweeps to begin.
NBC:  All the hype for 30 ROCK‘s live episode (a very busy half-hour with some great gags) and COMMUNITY‘s self-contained episode-long Law & Order parody bought both shows whopping increases of 0.1 from last week–which, as Mitch Metcalf showed yesterday, is essentially meaningless.  That was the good news.  THE OFFICE (2.1), PARKS & RECREATION (1.6) and AWAKE (0.8) all set new series lows, and even though those were also by margins of 0.1, they mark the continuation of Spring-long trends.  The Office has now lost almost 50% of its average from last season, one of the worst collapses of a hit show in memory. 

ABCMISSING set a new 1.3 low, but things stabilized after that.  GREY’S ANATOMY, while down 0.1 to 3.2, was still above its numbers earlier this month, while SCANDAL actually inched up (again, by a mere 0.1) to a “new high” 2.1.
CBSTHE BIG BANG THEORY won its half-hour (at least in preliminary numbers) and was the highest-rated show of the night, but it was down a distressing 0.4 from its last new episode to a season low 4.0.  RULES OF ENGAGEMENT was up from last week (when it followed a Big Bang rerun) but down from other recent weeks at 2.5.  PERSON OF INTEREST and THE MENTALIST both hit new series lows at 2.4 and 2.1, down 0.6 and 0.3 from their last new episodes.
FOX:  AMERICAN IDOL tied its season low 3.9 in preliminary numbers, while TOUCH continued its downward slide with a new low 1.9.  That hour of Idol, though, was enough to give FOX the night.
CW:  THE VAMPIRE DIARIES and THE SECRET CIRCLE both tied series lows at 1.0 and 0.5.
Tonight the networks doggedly try again, with new episodes of regular series (including the newly-renewed FRINGE) across the board.

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."